17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 23, 2020

Today we celebrate the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Our summer course of Discipleship 101 continues this weekend with the Master teaching us to ponder what really matters. With the pandemic continuing and racial tensions continuing to be daily news, (and the oppressive heat) maybe this is a good lesson for us this weekend. In today’s first reading from 1 Kings we read of God coming to King Solomon and offering him anything he asks for. He asks for divine wisdom; an understanding heart to distinguish right from wrong. Nothing could be more pleasing than this desire to serve God and His people with integrity. For not asking for riches or a long life, but a wise heart Solomon receives the latter besides. In Paul’s Letter to the Romans we continue his encouraging words about the hope of glory they have as adopted children of God. This has been part of the divine plan from the beginning and is achieved through conformity to Christ, the divine Son. In today’s passage there is a line that can be our meditation for the week, “ALL things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” With all the evil, ugliness, rioting, and disharmony how can this be? Meditate folks. What are we being called to do as beloved sons and daughters? In our Gospel today Jesus continues teaching about the Kingdom. Throughout Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus has warned that entering the Kingdom of Heaven is a challenging undertaking, and few persevere. Yet disciples must persevere. Like a treasure or a valuable pearl, the Kingdom is worth giving up everything else to “obtain.” The invitation is open to everyone. It is a gift but, paradoxically, one that comes at a price. We need to believe this with all our heart to be intentional disciples and distinguish what “really” matters!

A good way to begin each day is saying the Morning Offering:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all  the intentions of Thy Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all our associates, and in particular for the general intention recommended this month.

Something as a simple as this can keep us focused on what really matters and face each new day with trust in the Lord to lead us, guide us, and make us focused on our journey as disciples.

One of the hot topics these days is what kind of educational experience our children will face this coming year. Will there be in-classroom learning and what will that look like? Will there be online learning as we had this past Spring? Will there be a combination of the two to facilitate for social distancing? As we near the end of July and, are just a few weeks away from the opening(?) of our schools, many parents are wondering and as a community we support them in these trying times. The current Pandemic has changed the face of so many of our activities and schedules. With talk of a second-wave coming this Fall, I share the concerns of many parishioners. The best we can do is continue what we’re doing: wearing face masks whenever we venture out into the public, employ good hygiene with frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer, and keep social distancing. We WILL get through this folks. We WILL.

Finally today, as we endure these hot summer days, please make a special effort to check on elderly family members and neighbors frequently. While not trying to be a pest, reach out to them to make sure they’re ok. And oh, yes, don’t forget your pets. With temps reaching into the 100’s they’re needing plenty of fresh water and cool spaces.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)